Unit J6008260 – Identify sources of information and present findings

Task 1

What are the different potential sources of information you can use when given something to research? Ensure that you cover the difference between primary and secondary research.

 

There is a variety of sources of information available to conduct my research into my chosen social media platform, Instagram. A good starting point would be to use Google to search for relevant topics on the subject, which would bring up a wide range of sources, ranging from articles and blog posts to infographics and videos. Gathering the information from these sources would be an example of secondary research, which is using data that has already been produced. An alternative source of information would be to conduct some primary research and create a survey to be completed by a small group. Primary research is when new information is found and collected. The benefit of primary research is I can ensure that the information that I collect is relevant to the topic.

 

Task 2

Think of an idea that would allow you to use converging technology, within your own workplace if possible, to either connect with your customers/clients or make day to day working easier. This could be to implement a social media platform you do not use, bring in a new messaging system, create a new blog or website. State what your idea is in detail.

 

 

My idea would be for the company to run an Instagram account. The purpose would be to offer a “behind-the-scenes” view of the company, showcasing the work we do and to show more casual images of working in the company. It could be also used to share images of events we are involved in in real-time. This would give us an opportunity to share our work with a wider audience, which would both promote our clients as well as ourselves. Additionally, it would help build our brand personality, particularly from sharing the more casual images from work.

 

Task 3

Identify the different sources of primary and secondary research that you can use to gather information for this project. This can be people at work, researching certain websites. Write down where you think you will get the information from.

I will use Google to help with my research, searching for relevant articles/blog posts on the topic. I will visit some websites/blogs written by social media experts, such as http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/, https://sproutsocial.com/insights/ and https://blog.hootsuite.com/, to see what insights they have concerning Instagram. Additionally, I will look at Instagram itself to see what similar companies post and generally the sort of content that is posted.

I will gather primary research from questionnaires or interviews with my colleagues.

 

Task 4

Talk to an ‘expert’ on the topic to gather some initial info to help you do your research. Who are they and what did you ask?

 

I talked to my manager, Helen, who comes from a marketing background. I had a discussion about using social media, the benefits it offers a company and then talked more specifically about her experience and opinion of Instagram.

The key points we covered were:

  • How can social media benefit a company
  • What she knows about Instagram
  • What does she use it for
  • How do others use it
  • What does Instagram offer that is useful in terms of marketing
  • What are the main pros/cons of the platform

 

Task 5

Carry out research on your ideas by coming up with a minimum 5 questions to 5 people (colleagues if possible). Explain who you are asking the questions to and why they were chosen. Keep a record of your responses. What method will you use to distribute the questions and why that method? (email, face to face, questionnaire).

 

I created the following questions as I felt they provided the opportunity for the responders to include their own personal insights into the matter. The questions I asked covered a range of ideas, from more general ones about the platform to specific ones concerning marketing.

 

  • Do you use Instagram? What do you know about Instagram?
  • What makes an Instagram account successful?
  • How could we use Instagram?
  • Would paid Instagram ads be beneficial to the company?
  • Do you think using Instagram would increase traffic?

 

I decided to talk to my colleagues about the topic as they would be most equipped to provide answers in relation to the company, additionally, they have experience in marketing.

I chose to talk face-to-face to ask the questions, as it provided a more relaxed atmosphere and I would be able to gather more accurate responses. It also ensured I could get the responses quickly, If I had emailed them a questionnaire they may not have allocated time to do it during the busy workday.

 

Tom, 19 – Interests: Sports, Technology, Gaming

  • Do you use Instagram? What do you know about Instagram?

 

Yes, though I don’t really post anything. Instagram is a social network for sharing pictures.

 

  • What makes an Instagram account successful?

 

The accounts I follow that work well are ones that post fairly often so you always see new content from them when you open the app.

 

  • How could we use Instagram?

 

Posting updates on the projects we are working on.

 

  • Would paid Instagram ads be beneficial to the company?

 

I think they could, they would allow us to reach people who aren’t following us already.

 

  • Do you think using Instagram increase traffic?

 

I think if we paid for ads we would likely see a boost in traffic.

 

Richard, 41 – Interests: Photography, Design, Football, MMA

  • Do you use Instagram? What do you know about Instagram?

 

Yes, I post photos and follow a fair number of accounts. It’s a photo and video sharing platform that Facebook bought for a lot of money.

 

  • What makes an Instagram account successful?

 

Quality. I only really follow accounts that post quality content.

 

  • How could we use Instagram?

 

I think we could share the work we do, would be like creating a live portfolio. I think creative content works well on Instagram as it is primarily a photo sharing service.

 

  • Would paid Instagram ads be beneficial to the company?

 

I’ve seen how Facebook ads have benefitted us so I’m sure Instagram ads would work too, though I’m not sure if the people we usual work with are that active on Instagram, we don’t have that many requests for integrating Instagram into websites we build.

 

  • Do you think using Instagram would increase traffic?

 

As long as we actively use it I’m sure it will, the more online presence the better!

 

Michael, 38 – Interests: Technology, Gadgets, Computers

  • Do you use Instagram? What do you know about Instagram?

 

Occasionally, I don’t check it daily and post even less. It’s a photo sharing service, popular with a younger demographic.

 

  • What makes an Instagram account successful?

 

I think the opposite of how I use. Regular posts and doing so consistently, this would keep the audience coming back. You would need to make sure what you post is interesting as well.

 

  • How could we use Instagram?

 

I think using it how most people use it – creating a visual diary, posting what we are doing in the day and the events we are involved in.

 

  • Would paid Instagram ads be beneficial to the company?

 

I’m not sure if Instagram would be the right platform to reach the demographic we typically serve. I’m sure we may get some interest due to paid ads but I think we would be better off using Facebook.

 

  • Do you think using Instagram would increase traffic?

 

It probably would but I don’t think it would be as significant a boost as we would see from other social networks which reach our demographic more.

 

Jo, 26 – Interests: Design, Fashion, Music

  • Do you use Instagram? What do you know about Instagram?

 

Yes, it’s a social network for sharing photos and videos. It’s been trying to compete with Snapchat and has “borrowed” some of their features.

 

  • What makes an Instagram account successful?

 

Interesting pictures, being active, running promotions doesn’t hurt.

 

  • How could we use Instagram?

 

I think using it to show off the work we do would be a good option, this would also help advertise our clients.

 

  • Would paid Instagram ads be beneficial to the company?

 

They would definitely help us reach a wider audience.

 

  • Do you think using Instagram increase traffic?

 

I think we would see more traffic if we made interesting posts and kept the account active, paying for ads would help too.

 

Task 6

Are there any gaps in info? You should now do some secondary research on the topic ensuring you keep a record of your research using screen captures with explanations of the process.

 

I haven’t looked into the demographics of Instagram or checked to see what the most popular posts are. I would need to do some secondary research to gather this information.

 

I began by doing a Google search to see if I could find some information on the demographic of Instagram users.

 

Screen Shot 2017-05-20 at 15.11.11.png

 

I checked a selection of the results to gather an impression of the demographic.

 

Sproutsocial.com had a useful infographic breaking down the demographic of instagram:

instagram

I then did a further Google search to find information on what sort of content works on Instagram

Screen Shot 2017-05-20 at 15.21.19.png

This led me to some useful articles which broke down the different styles/themes of posts on Instagram, explaining why they worked and provided examples of the concepts in practice.

Screen Shot 2017-05-20 at 15.29.59.png

 

I also decided it would be worth seeing if I could find any information on Instagram Ads.

Screen Shot 2017-05-20 at 15.35.08.png

Task 7

Review all the information you have, check any inconsistent or contradictory information, evaluate the data and come up with a conclusion. Present your findings using charts and graphs.

After evaluating the data I came to the conclusion that creating and running an Instagram account would be beneficial to the company. It would be important to create a strategy for how and what to post however, as the type of content has varying levels of success. The majority of Instagram users are younger people, which isn’t our typical audience. This leads to two considerations; there would be less competition when targeting our demographic as it smaller, and it would be a good platform to engage with a new audience that we don’t typically work with. I think more research would be required as to whether using Instagram Ads would be beneficial and the most cost-effective platform to advertise on.

Infographic of my findings

https://infograph.venngage.com/p/269321/apprentice-task

 

Task 8

You should then upload evidence that you have presented what you found out to your line manager by getting a witness statement or screen shot of an email from them with comments on what they think of your idea.

 

Screen Shot 2017-05-24 at 00.16.51

 

Task 9

What are the main legal and ethical issues to consider when doing research? (copyright, confidentiality etc) How did you ensure that you followed these legal and ethical practices when doing your research?

 

In terms of conducting primary research, the main legal & ethical considerations concern the Data Protection Act. Participants must be made fully aware of how the data they provide will be used and their expectations for privacy must be respected. You cannot gather sensitive personal data (such as ethnicity, political & religious beliefs etc.) without explicit consent. Any data collected must be stored securely.

In terms of using secondary research, it is important to properly reference the data so as to show who initially carried it out. It may also be necessary to acquire permission to use the data, particularly if it has not been published.

 

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